The New Year is here and many of us like to take advantage of the “Clean Slate” and begin anew with good habits. Suzanne from Washington State Employees Credit Union joined Margaret tot help us begin 2013 by getting our Financial House in order!
For more information about Washington State Employees Credit Union, please visit their website by clicking here.
If you have a question for Suzanne, or would like to set up a FREE financial workshop for your business or organization, please email her: SKlenk@WSECU.org
Here are the tips Suzanne shared today:
You say that it is not complicated to get started, and you have a list of 5 Financial Tips for the New Year that can get us off to a good beginning!
- Get organized. Commit to financial housekeeping.
Begin my asking yourself a few simple questions: How much you make? Do you know how much you owe? Where do you want to be financially in 5 years? Are you on the right path to get you there? How does money move through your home? Get a handle on the basics of your finances. Knowledge is Power and when you know where you are financially you can begin to make good decisions on where to go from here.
- Start an automatic savings plan.
I have talked to so many people who feel that if they have just an extra $10 or $20 per month to set aside that it’s “not worth it.” It’s always worth it. At WSECU, we talk to young people about financial literacy all the time and we discuss the idea of “Pay Yourself First.” Make it the first thing you do each month. Better yet, set up an auto transfer or deduction from your paycheck…Out of sight, out of mind and you won’t even feel it. Your credit union can set this up for you in seconds!
- If you haven’t already established an Individual Retirement Account, this might be the time. (Tax return, etc.)
The annual limit is now $5,000 if you are 49 or younger, $6,000 if you are over 49. But it is important to know that you can start an IRA with $5! Start with whatever you have and build it up. Slow and steady wins the race…but if you never take that first step you will always be behind. There are so many options out there now, talk with a Financial Planner to find your best fit.
- Talk to your kids about money.
The one common denominator for all parents is that we want better for our children than we had ourselves. Financial Literacy is key to the success of future generations. Start young children out with a modest allowance and assist them with budgeting for savings. It is a good time to define “wants vs. needs”. For tweens and teens, get them involved with the family budget and how much it costs to provide a home, cable, etc. This is a good time to open a checking account and teach them how to handle a debit card. Teach them to reconcile monthly and to develop good record keeping habits….important skills for the future. This will also make them problem solvers and stakeholders in your home.
- Buy Yourself a Criss-Cross Shredder!
A criss-cross shredder is a must for the prevention of identity theft and fraud. Shred anything with your name and address on it. Unwanted credit card offers, Home Equity Loan offers, unwanted pre-made labels, unused checks and deposit slips……just about everything. Also, you can take advantage of community Shred days. WSECU holds a community shred it day the last Saturday in July at several of our locations and the state Attorney General’s website lists other similar events happening across the state.